Notebookcheck

Rise of the Tomb Raider Notebook Benchmarks

Florian Glaser (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 02/03/2016

Precision landing. After several rather poor PC ports (Batman Arkham Knight, Just Cause 3, Call of Duty Black Ops 3, etc.), the latest iteration of Tomb Raider finally leaves a better impression on the PC. We tested the action title on multiple notebook GPUs and checked the performance. Update: GT630M, HD 4000, M385X, Iris Pro 5200, 920M, M280X, Kaveri R7 added.

Rise of the Tomb Raider logo

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For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

Rise of the Tomb Raider is based on the Foundation Engine, which was already used for the predecessor. However, the visuals changed a lot compared to the old title. Besides the textures, both the density of objects and particles can convince as well. This means the action adventure can create a great atmosphere, which is supported by diverse levels. You fight, climb and puzzle your way through icy caves, dusty canyons and dreamlike jungle areas during the first couple of hours of the game.

We were particularly impressed by two special effects, which have a very high quality, but do not require a lot of resources. Lara leaves huge traces when she wanders through the snow, which increases the credibility of the world and was not realized in such an efficient way in any previous game.

Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider

The biggest highlight in our opinion is the hair simulation PureHair, which originates from AMD's TressFX. While the technology of the predecessor still needed a lot of resources and was primarily designed for AMD GPUs, PureHair now runs much faster (also on Nvidia GPUs), and it appears much more authentic. Our pictures show that there is hardly a difference between the setting On and Very High, whereas the deactivation of PureHair has a big impact.

Speaking of settings: The PC port was once again handled by the studio Nixxes from the Netherlands, who – except for the pretty high requirements – did a very good job. Similar to the last Tomb Raider, you can adjust the settings outside and within the game. Great: Changes within the game do not require a restart, there is only a short transition period (reloading textures, etc.).

Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Another advantage is the large number of options, which were divided into two sub-menus. As usual, you can use Display to change the resolution and – when the option Exclusive Fullscreen is enabled – the refresh rate. A vertical synchronization is also available. The developers waived a general limitation of the frame rate. Otherwise, you can only adjust the anti-aliasing in the Display tab. While the post processing versions FXAA and SMAA do not deliver very good results (and can create a blurry picture), SSAA costs a lot of performance, so you should avoid it, at least when you use a notebook.

This leaves us with the Graphics menu, which includes dozens of settings. If you don't want to fiddle with all of them, you can also use one of five presets, which adjust the overall quality. You can argue about the presets though. Very High, for instance, does not always mean very high. If you want to experience Tomb Raider in the highest quality, you will have to adjust the settings by hand and select the highest options.

Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider

The third-person shooter supports numerous modern effects like HBAO+ and tessellation, some of which are exclusive on the PC. The game looks pretty good with Medium settings, even though the best graphics are obviously reserved for the High or Very High presets. You should avoid the preset Low if possible, because the missing shadows, the weak illumination and the blurry textures will affect the atmosphere significantly.

All things considered, we would call the PC version surprisingly good. This verdict is also supported by the short loading times and the moderate size of the game (almost 20 GB). The gameplay itself leaves a great impression as well: Staging, gameplay, story-telling, size and controls can easily compete with other games.

PureHair Off
PureHair Off
PureHair On
PureHair On
PureHair Very High
PureHair Very High
PureHair Off
PureHair Off
PureHair On
PureHair On
PureHair Very High
PureHair Very High

Benchmark

It is a bit unfortunate that Rise of the Tomb Raider does not feature an integrated benchmark, but the tutorial works pretty well for performance evaluations. After the first two intro videos, Lara walks along a mountain passage and is confronted with opulent effects and an immense sight, which create a lot of GPU load and represent very demanding or stressful passages, respectively.

The frame rates in Rise of the Tomb Raider can fluctuate heavily depending on the situation, so the hardware should have some headroom: At least 30-35 fps during our benchmark sequence (see video) indicates decent playability. A lower frame rate would often result in annoying stutters and lags. As far as we can say, the title is heavily limited by the GPU. The processor only has a small impact on the performance or none at all; even at low or medium settings (benchmarks for low-end CPUs are still missing).

Results

We already mentioned that the hardware requirements are pretty high. Considering the reference-like effects, however, we think that the requirements are somewhat justified. You will need at least a lower-mainstream GPU to play Rise of the Tomb Raider at all. Processor chips like the Intel HD Graphics 4600 and older multimedia or all-round chips like the GeForce GT 740M or GT 750M cannot even handle minimum details. 1024x768 pixels and the preset Low will require a more modern mid-range GPU like the GeForce 940M. Normal details and 1366x768 pixels are playable with a GeForce GTX 850M or better.

We recommend a "real" gaming chip for 1920x1080 pixels. The preset High will run smoothly on a GTX 965M; the preset Very High on a GTX 970M. None of the notebook GPUs are powerful enough for 4K at 3840x2160 pixels. But even powerful desktop GPUs like the Radeon R9 Fury and the GeForce GTX 980 will reach their limits. Only the fastest high-end models (GTX 980 Ti etc.) and some SLI configurations should be powerful enough. Note: AMD GPUs are currently slower compared to their Nvidia counterparts. Intel GPUs on the other hand have problems with crashes – independent of the settings.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
4K Settings
4K Settings
Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
4K Settings
4K Settings

We also want to say a couple of words about the resolution debate on our forums. Because of the feedback, we decided to test medium details with 1920x1080 instead of 1366x768 pixels in 2016. However, we will only use the new scheme if there is a certain performance difference compared to the High preset (also 1920x1080 pixels). The performance between the presets Medium and High is almost identical in the case of Rise of the Tomb Raider. We therefore once again use 1366x768 pixels for an ideal frame rate gradation. As an example, we show the results of the GeForce GTX 950M (Iris Pro 5200):

  • 1024x768 + Lowest preset = 60 fps (26.6 fps) ... 100% (100%)
  • 1366x768 + Medium preset = 38 fps (14.8 fps) ... 63% (56%)
  • 1920x1080 + Medium preset = 25 fps (10 fps) ... 42% (38%)
  • 1920x1080 + High preset = 21 fps (7.8 fps) ... 35% (29%)
  • 1920x1080 + Very High preset = 17 fps ... 28%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
    3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x     1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x     1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x     1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x     1024x768 Lowest Preset
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K
Desktop PC
27.9 (min: 25) fps ∼36%
71.3 (min: 64) fps ∼44%
80.5 (min: 76) fps ∼45%
135 (min: 130) fps ∼60%
205 (min: 194) fps ∼71%
AMD Radeon R9 Fury, 4790K
XFX Radeon R9 Fury Pro
32.4 (min: 29) fps ∼41%
57 (min: 46) fps ∼35%
72 (min: 62) fps ∼40%
110 (min: 104) fps ∼49%
159 (min: 147) fps ∼55%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
27.2 (min: 23) fps ∼35%
50.5 (min: 47) fps ∼31%
65 (min: 60) fps ∼36%
102 (min: 97) fps ∼45%
149 (min: 140) fps ∼52%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
20.8 (min: 19) fps ∼27%
47.9 (min: 45) fps ∼30%
56.4 (min: 52) fps ∼31%
93.9 (min: 83) fps ∼42%
139 (min: 116) fps ∼48%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
16.8 (min: 15) fps ∼21%
38 (min: 35) fps ∼24%
44.9 (min: 43) fps ∼25%
74.8 (min: 68) fps ∼33%
115 (min: 97) fps ∼40%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
14.6 (min: 13) fps ∼19%
32.3 (min: 30) fps ∼20%
36.3 (min: 33) fps ∼20%
55.9 (min: 53) fps ∼25%
84.9 (min: 81) fps ∼29%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950, 6700K
Desktop PC
13 (min: 11) fps ∼17%
30.6 (min: 28) fps ∼19%
38.8 (min: 35) fps ∼22%
66.3 (min: 63) fps ∼30%
105 (min: 99) fps ∼36%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
MSI GE72 965M Ti
11.9 (min: 11) fps ∼15%
30.4 (min: 26) fps ∼19%
37.7 (min: 35) fps ∼21%
66 (min: 58) fps ∼29%
106 (min: 95) fps ∼37%
AMD Radeon R7 370, 4790K
MSI Gaming R7 370 2GB
13.3 (min: 11) fps ∼17%
27.3 (min: 24) fps ∼17%
35.5 (min: 33) fps ∼20%
61 (min: 58) fps ∼27%
94 (min: 88) fps ∼33%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
11.3 (min: 10) fps ∼14%
25.8 (min: 24) fps ∼16%
30 (min: 28) fps ∼17%
47.4 (min: 45) fps ∼21%
71.9 (min: 68) fps ∼25%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
8.7 (min: 7) fps ∼11%
20.1 (min: 18) fps ∼12%
26.4 (min: 24) fps ∼15%
46.8 (min: 44) fps ∼21%
74 (min: 70) fps ∼26%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
7.9 (min: 7) fps ∼10%
19.6 (min: 18) fps ∼12%
22 (min: 20) fps ∼12%
36 (min: 34) fps ∼16%
57 (min: 54) fps ∼20%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
MSI PE60 2QD
17.2 (min: 15) fps ∼11%
21 (min: 19) fps ∼12%
37.5 (min: 35) fps ∼17%
60 (min: 57) fps ∼21%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
6.9 (min: 6) fps ∼9%
17 (min: 16) fps ∼11%
20.9 (min: 19) fps ∼12%
37.2 (min: 35) fps ∼17%
59.6 (min: 56) fps ∼21%
AMD Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
16.6 (min: 15) fps ∼10%
21.4 (min: 19) fps ∼12%
37.7 (min: 35) fps ∼17%
52 (min: 48) fps ∼18%
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, 5700HQ
MSI GP62 2QD
9.4 (min: 8) fps ∼6%
11.6 (min: 10) fps ∼6%
21.1 (min: 19) fps ∼9%
34.3 (min: 32) fps ∼12%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
9 (min: 8) fps ∼6%
9.9 (min: 9) fps ∼6%
17.1 (min: 16) fps ∼8%
27.1 (min: 25) fps ∼9%
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ
Schenker S413
7.8 (min: 6) fps ∼4%
14.8 (min: 12) fps ∼7%
26.6 (min: 24) fps ∼9%
AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri), FX-7600P
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
8.1 (min: 6) fps ∼5%
16.6 (min: 15) fps ∼7%
25.8 (min: 23) fps ∼9%
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, 2970M
MSI CX61 2QC 2970M MS-16GD
13.4 (min: 12) fps ∼6%
22.2 (min: 21) fps ∼8%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
6.4 (min: 5) fps ∼4%
7.6 (min: 7) fps ∼4%
13.5 (min: 12) fps ∼6%
22 (min: 20) fps ∼8%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
9.7 fps ∼4%
15.2 fps ∼5%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
8.9 (min: 7) fps ∼4%
15.5 (min: 14) fps ∼5%
Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
 Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)
low
1024x768
Lowest Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
2xAF
high
1920x1080
High Preset
4xAF FXAA
ultra
1920x1080
Very High Preset
16xAF FXAA
4k
3840x2160
High Preset
4xAF FXAA
 1NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
180
161
69.652
 2NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
288
224.3
155.5
138.9
68.4
 3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
80.92
79.752
75.352
 4NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
80.9
79.8
67.7
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
244
201
131
1124
503
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
260.9
218.3
143.92
1185
50.25
 7NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
107.3
95
94.7
94.4
60.9
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
982
40.952
 9NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
179.73
162.83
105.110
9215
37.756
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
224
163
103
88
40.6
 13AMD Radeon R9 Fury
159
110
72
57
32.4
 14AMD Radeon R9 Nano
56.2
29.8
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
205
135
80.5
72.72
27.9
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
225.9
144.4
88.4
68.752
33.7
 20NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
78.7
72.4
71.4
68
31.9
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
215
131
79.9
66.72
28.152
 23AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
57
25.62
 24NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
1583
118.92
71.39
60.715
25.154
 26NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
159.1
127.7
75.9
62.352
25.3
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
lowmed.highultra4k
 27AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop)
68.7
54.23
25.3
 32AMD Radeon R9 290X
149
102
65
50.5
27.2
 36AMD Radeon HD 8970M Crossfire
152.2
104.4
55.3
42.8
 39NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
139.54
93.454
57.68
499
21.74
 41AMD Radeon R9 280X
116
78
49.3
39.4
21.1
 43NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
112.6
71.3
43.7
36.1
17
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
113.752
84.23
47.44
39.14
17.6
 45NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
48.9
40.7
 46NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
105.754
72.64
44.95
37.65
16.8
 47*NVIDIA Quadro M4000M
90
55
48
20
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
110.9
68.9
46.4
40.6
17.2
 57NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
114.9
69.9
40.2
33.4
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
42.22
36.9
15.6
 59NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
112.74
686
387
327
13.13
 62AMD Radeon R7 370
94
61
35.5
27.3
13.3
 64NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
84.9
55.9
36.3
32.3
14.6
 65NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
105
66.3
38.8
30.6
13
 72AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
69
36.6
27.9
12.9
 75*NVIDIA Quadro M2200
128.7
72.8
40.7
34.4
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
102.93
63.654
374
29.754
11.9
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
lowmed.highultra4k
 77NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
71.9
47.4
30
25.8
11.3
 79AMD Radeon HD 8970M
85
54
31.9
23.4
 94NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
65.43
46.958
26.413
22.513
8.852
 96*AMD Radeon Pro 460
76
25.8
20.8
 97NVIDIA Quadro M2000M
723
45.154
25.64
21.74
9.23
 100*AMD Radeon Pro 455
84
24.9
18.3
 102NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
57
36
22
19.6
7.9
 110*AMD Radeon Pro 450
66.6
20.82
 111NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
57.977
35.198
20.68
16.616
 113AMD Radeon R9 M385X
39.4
34.8
19.7
15.2
 114NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
59.6
37.2
20.9
17
6.9
 117AMD Radeon R9 M280X
52
37.7
21.4
16.6
 129Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580
30.2
18.2
12.2
8.9
 184NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
27.1
17.1
9.9
9
 187NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
34.712
21.312
12.7510
10.156
 189NVIDIA GeForce 940M
26.534
18.744
11.074
7.982
 190NVIDIA GeForce 930MX
35.092
19.842
10.9
 191AMD FirePro W4190M
14
8
 195AMD Radeon R7 M445
29.6
15.1
8.5
6.7
 198*NVIDIA Quadro M600M
46.2
28.6
15.3
12.7
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
lowmed.highultra4k
 206*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
22.5
14.2
7.1
 207AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
31
18.9
 208Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
26.6
14.8
7.8
 210NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
22
13.5
7.6
6.4
 211NVIDIA GeForce 930M
25
16.4
9.6
7.7
 213*Intel Iris Graphics 550
25.452
18.33
10.22
4.3
 215*NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
23.2
14.7
8.1
 217Intel Iris Graphics 540
23.73
15.33
 218*NVIDIA Quadro M500M
30.3
18.6
10.4
 248AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
25.8
16.6
8.1
 249AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
21.1
15.7
11.4
 250*AMD Radeon R7 M460
19.5
12.2
6.8
 253AMD Radeon R7 M360
22.552
12.32
7.12
4.1
 258AMD Radeon R8 M445DX
24.152
14.352
7.652
 259AMD Radeon R7 M440
22.252
12.32
6.22
3.5
 266NVIDIA GeForce 920M
20.252
12.352
6.4
3.7
 267AMD Radeon R6 M340DX
19.3
11.8
6.5
3.2
 268Intel HD Graphics 630
23.6
14.5
 270Intel HD Graphics 530
162
 274AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
20.6
11.2
6.2
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
lowmed.highultra4k
 275AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge)
16.1
10.4
 276*Intel HD Graphics 620
17.827
1119
6.29
4.8
 277AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
16.83
8.5
 339NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
14.2
 343*AMD Radeon R5 M430
18.8
11.5
 344AMD Radeon R5 M330
18.952
11.652
6.3
3.9
 345AMD Radeon R5 M255
19
11.8
6.3
 347NVIDIA GeForce 910M
14.5
9.4
6.1
3.5
 349Intel HD Graphics 520
14.7523
9.621
5.311
9.3
 350Intel Iris Graphics 6100
9.7
 351NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
15.2
9.7
 370Intel HD Graphics 4600
15.252
9.32
 372Intel HD Graphics 5500
11.4
7.3
 376*Intel HD Graphics 615
12.93
8
 417Intel HD Graphics 515
7.964
5.183
 418Intel HD Graphics 4400
13.1
7.6
 419*Intel HD Graphics 510
11.1
7
 448Intel HD Graphics 5300
6.6
3.9
 449*Intel HD Graphics 505
6.152
4.052
 458Intel HD Graphics 4000
10
Pos      Model                                     Rise of the Tomb Raider
lowmed.highultra4k
 466AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
11
6.7